Kanaya powers home to earn Masters and Open starts

Japan’s top amateur Takumi Kanaya stormed home with a 65 to win the 10th Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship (AAC) by two shots over compatriot Keita Nakajima and India’s Rayhan Thomas.

Kanaya finished with a total of 13-under-par 267 at Sentosa Golf Club’s New Tanjong Course to earn starts in next year’s Masters Tournament at Augusta National and The 148th Open at Royal Portrush. Joint runners-up Nakajima and Thomas gained spots in The Open Qualifying Series.

“When I was a kid, I always dreamt of playing in  The Masters, so this is like a dream come true,” said Kanaya, who received a phone call from two-time AAC winner Hideki Matsuyama following his victory.

“I played in the Amateur Championship in Scotland a few months ago so I know that links golf demands good ball control as the courses are really bouncy. I’m really looking forward to playing in The Open,” added the 20-year-old.

Kanaya also played in the World Amateur Golf Team Championship at Carton House in Ireland last month and finished second in the individual standings.

Defending champion and overnight leader Lin Yuxin of China had a day to forget, carding a 75 to drop down the leaderboard into joint ninth place on five-under-par.

Results (Top 10 and ties):
267 – Takumi Kanaya (JPN) 69-69-64-65

269 – Rayhan Thomas (IND) 74-64-65-66, Keita Nakajima (JPN) 67-68-67-67

270 – Lloyd Jefferson Go (PHI) 65-67-69-69

271 – K.K. Limbhasut (THA) 66-68-68-69

272 – Cheng Jin (CHN) 65-67-70-70

273 – Ervin Chang (MAS) 72-69-68-64

274 – Sadom Kaewkanjana (THA) 68-66-73-67

275 – Gregory Foo (SIN) 70-69-69-67, Lee Won-Jun (KOR) 68-67-68-72, Bai Zheng Kai (CHN) 66-67-69-73, Lin Yuxin (CHN) 69-69-62-75

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